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Thursday
Nov022017

Veterinary Students in Research

Viral-mediated oncolysis of cancer cells isolated from canine tumors

Kirsha B Fredrickson and Amy L MacNeill
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University

The three classic arms of cancer therapy are surgical resection, chemotherapeutics, and radiation. As these fields have progressed we have greatly improved cancer survival rates in both companion animals and humans. However, with the complexities of neoplastic disease and their ability to further mutate due to genomic instability, these classic approaches are not always successful and often have undesirable adverse effects. Oncolytic virotherapy has the potential to be highly effective with minimal adverse effects due to targeted lysis of neoplastic cells. Studies were performed to evaluate the oncolytic effects of recombinant myxoma virus (MYXV) on canine osteosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma primary cell cultures. The tumor samples were obtained following surgical excision. Once cultured, cells were evaluated for vimentin using
immunocytochemistry and for alkaline phosphatase activity using nitroblue tetrazolium chloride/5-bromo- 4-chloro- 3- indolyl phosphate toluidine solution. The cancer cell-lines were then inoculated with recombinant myxoma virus expressing a red fluorescent protein and collected after 48-hours. Cytopathic effects were assessed at 24-hour and 48- hour time points via fluorescent microscopy. Ability of the virus to replicate within the cancer cells was confirmed via Western immunoblot detection of late MYXV protein production. The findings of this study suggest that canine osteosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma primary cell cultures are lacking antiviral mechanisms and susceptible to MYXV infection leading to oncolysis. Viral-mediated oncolysis of cancer cells isolated from canine tumorsKirsha B Fredrickson and Amy L MacNeillDepartment of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State UniversityThe three classic arms of cancer therapy are surgical resection, chemotherapeutics, andradiation. As these fields have progressed we have greatly improved cancer survival ratesin both companion animals and humans. However, with the complexities of neoplasticdisease and their ability to further mutate due to genomic instability, these classicapproaches are not always successful and often have undesirable adverse effects.Oncolytic virotherapy has the potential to be highly effective with minimal adverseeffects due to targeted lysis of neoplastic cells. Studies were performed to evaluate theoncolytic effects of recombinant myxoma virus (MYXV) on canine osteosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma primary cell cultures. The tumor samples were obtained followingsurgical excision. Once cultured, cells were evaluated for vimentin usingimmunocytochemistry and for alkaline phosphatase activity using nitroblue tetrazoliumchloride/5-bromo- 4-chloro- 3- indolyl phosphate toluidine solution. The cancer cell-lineswere then inoculated with recombinant myxoma virus expressing a red fluorescentprotein and collected after 48-hours. Cytopathic effects were assessed at 24-hour and 48-hour time points via fluorescent microscopy. Ability of the virus to replicate within thecancer cells was confirmed via Western immunoblot detection of late MYXV proteinproduction. The findings of this study suggest that canine osteosarcoma and soft tissuesarcoma primary cell cultures are lacking antiviral mechanisms and susceptible toMYXV infection leading to oncolysis.
Sunday
Oct292017

Cats are the Best

Some good laughs from Rafi the cat. A big thanks goes to Lauren Ungar from Tufts Univeristy for sharing her rambunctious kitty with us and actually catching him in the act!

Thursday
Oct262017

Dogtor Finn

And the cutest pet award goes to...............

Finn with his beautifully expressive grin. Thank you to Marisa Hofmeister from North Carolina State University for sharing your loveable fur-baby with us.

I love the playground!Dogtor FinnI made it to the top of the mountain mom!

Tuesday
Oct242017

Submission Window Now Open

ATTENTION VET GAZETTERS:

Volume 53, Issue 1 has just opened up for submissions. Deadline is December 29th. 

Send us your cute pet pics, your enlightening thoughts, your fun externship experiences, your interesting research projects, your beautiful photographs, and your amazing creations. Whatever your flavor, we have something for you. Take the time to share your awesomeness with the vet community, we know and love. We want to hear from you!!

Yours Truly,

Your editors (Kyndel and Meredith)

 


Friday
Oct202017

"The Enemy - Zoonotic Disease or Us?"

Take a moment to read this peice written by Andrew Lacqua from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in our opionion editorial category. 

Andrew Lacqua
The Enemy - Zoonotic Disease or Us?
It’s a warm summer night and you are sitting around a fire with friends. You are talking about your new vegetable garden when smack!, you squish a blood-filled mosquito on your forearm. Thinking nothing of it, you continue the conversation as itchiness sets in. Meanwhile, your dog is hightailing it out into the forest. She saw a deer.
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This scenario seems ordinary, right? It is. For the most part. Amidst the casual chatting and your dog, well, being a dog, there is great opportunity for the spread of disease. Zoonotic disease, to be exact. Let me explain.
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A zoonotic disease is any disease or infection that can spread between humans and animals. They are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi and they’re able to get into our bodies in all sorts of creative ways. Some get in through the air, others through urine, and others even through your pet’s water bowl. And just as the routes of transmission vary, so too do the symptoms. From cold sores caused by Herpesvirus to skin ulcers and vomiting from Anthrax, symptoms can be relatively benign to life-threatening.
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Now back to the fireside chat. You're scratching your forearm remembering that you never put on bug spray. You don’t realize this, but the mosquito you just squished previously bit a bird infected with West Nile Virus. So, you go back into the house to find bug spray and decide to bring out the platter you made with the vegetables from your garden. You forgot to wash them and last night a few deer walked through your garden, spreading feces infected with E. coli all over the place. Thinking nothing of this, you look through your window and see your dog running out of the forest and into the house. You pet her and under the fold of her ear you feel a deer tick, carrying Lyme disease. It must have jumped onto her during her pursuit of the deer. You take extra precaution with the deer tick knowing that you, too, could get infected.
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Throughout this entire scenario the limiting factor here is us, the humans. We are a huge part of zoonotic disease transmission and this is critical to understand, especially today. As the human population expands and connects previously disconnected parts of the world, the spread of zoonotic disease becomes ever more important. Dr. Sam R. Telford III, of the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health of the Cummings School, stresses that:
humans are to blame for any epidemic that we see due to zoonotic infections. We let deer overpopulate, and the ticks that result give us an epidemic of Lyme disease. We hunt for bushmeat and bring Ebola into the village. We don’t emphasize the human component enough.
Perhaps this could be the topic of discussion at the next fireside chat: the evidently detrimental role that humans play in the spread of zoonotic disease. Dr. Telford recalls the Pogo comic strip, published by Walt Kelly on Earth Day in 1971, in which Pogo somberly tells Porkypine , “We have met the enemy and he is us.”